A Durban businesswoman accused of inflating invoices by more than R5 million to cut her tax bill denied guilt in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Mabongi Flora-Junior “Shauwn” Mpisane also pleaded not guilty to a charge of violating the Close Corporations Act by remaining as the sole member of Zikhulise Cleaning, Maintenance and Transport CC when she had a previous conviction of fraud.

Mpisane's advocate Wim Trengove said even though his client's book-keeper Kishal Reddy had forged four invoices to the value of R5 053 035, the real value of the services supplied was in fact more than R9 million.

Trengove said Zikhulise's administration had failed to keep pace with the growth of the business, which saw its sales grow from R34 million in 2007 to R120 million in 2008.

He said in terms of reducing the tax burden, Mpisane's interests “would have been immeasurably better served by the accused's true purchases than (by) Mr Reddy's fictitious purchases and the invoices he is said to have forged to support them.”

Reddy, who is the prosecution's main witness, pleaded guilty to forgery in July 2011 and was handed a R30 000 fine.

Trengove said because the Close Corporations Act had been amended to apply only to those convicted of fraud and given a prison sentence, it did not apply to Mpisane.

Mpisane was sentenced in 2004 to five years imprisonment, that was wholly suspended for three years after pleading guilty to 62 counts of fraud.

The trial continues. – Sapa